Lean Plan and the Business Model Canvas

Early this month I tweeted out my recent post on business planning as dashboard and GPS.

Which prompted this response, from Antony Upward:

Which I liked, and answered, in my own twitter fashion:

He answered encouraging a blog post on it. Which, as it turns out, is this post today. So I’ll ping him when this comes out.

I did summarize the idea in the tweet above. Lean business planning is good for all businesses, and all business owners. The business model canvas is a nice framework for startups to summarize and plan how they intend to make money. It’s excellent for what it does, but isn’t the same as a business plan, because – as I said above – planning means not just that but also milestones, metrics, and essential business numbers.

This is not my original idea. In a way, my colleague here at Palo Alto Software, Noah Parsons, beat me on this one by several years, with his post on plans: A new way to develop and present your business model. He points out the similarities between the business model canvas and the LivePlan strategic summary page, called a pitch page. The pitch page, which is built into LivePlan, draws out the same essential information. We also have a free one-page strategy template that matches the LivePlan pitch that you can download today.

Which goes fairly well into my sidebar-like-comment in the dashboard-and-GPS post:

And if you happen to be a LivePlan user, it gets even better: use the pitch page for strategy and tactics, the schedule for milestones, the built-in financial projections, and link back to your accounting for automatic plan vs. actual. Then you have lean business planning to optimize your business.

Bottom line here? The nugget? Keep your plan lean, yes, but don’t neglect business planning for steering your business and developing execution, focus, and accountability. Use our free one-page strategy template, the LivePlan pitch page, the business model canvas, or simple bullet points to define key points of strategy and tactics. Whatever works for you is fine. But, in whichever case you choose, please add milestones, metrics, and projections of sales, spending, and cash flow. And then, when you’re done with the first plan, recognize that it’s obsolete in a few weeks at most and needs to be reviewed regularly and revised as needed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *